The Cross as Christ’s Crane


Ignatius, bishop of Antioch, lived during the first years of the movement that would become Christianity.  Born about 35 AD, he was taken to Rome under military escort and died in the arena fighting lions, in about 107.  Along the way to Rome he wrote a series of letters addressed to various churches.

In one letter he took the image of a building crane and applied it to Christ’s cross. “You are the stones of the Father’s temple, made ready for God’s building, raised aloft by the crane of Jesus Christ which is the cross, with the Holy Spirit for the rope; your faith pulls you upwards and love is the way that raises you to God.”

Then using the same image which Peter uses in his first letter when he writes of being “living stones,” he writes of those who are built into temples following Christ on the way.  “You are also all to be companions on this road, bearers of God, temples of the Spirit, carriers of Christ, brining with you holy gifts, you are adorned by the commandments of Jesus Christ.”

Of course, Jesus’ commandments are that we love one another.  The greatest Christmas attire that we can wear is the love of Christ and the greatest gift we are able to give is the word of that love demonstrated on the crane of the cross that everyone be lifted up and built into his temple.



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